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How to Start a Thesis Defense Presentation

How to Start a Thesis Defense Presentation | Quick Tips & Tutorial for your presentations

After months and years of hard work, the moment to wrap things all up is finally here—your thesis defense presentation.

Whether you’re pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate, it’s the final step to that much-deserved achievement. 

A thesis defense requires a lot of prior research and preparation. And as important as its content is, so is how you present it because a stunning design with clear data and text hierarchy plays an immense role in comprehension.

In this article, we’ll explore how you make your thesis defense .

The organization is the key to success. Establishing some previous steps before any project or work is essential for the result to be very positive. And the defense of a thesis could not be less. 

Below, we will develop all the necessary steps to make a thesis defense presentation and we will give you some tips on how to carry them out.

How to Make an Amazing Presentation

Defining the concept of your thesis presentation, structuring your thesis defense presentation, how do you welcome the audience, tell them why you did this thesis, go into the content by explaining your thesis part by part, how to end the defense of the thesis.

After a long time of research and study, the content of your thesis is ready. Now, you have to find the best way to reflect all that effort behind your work. The information comes across more clearly if you use a visual format, as it attracts the attention of the audience. To present your thesis information in a clear, concise, and ultimately amazing way, you can use one of our unique thesis defense templates , available at Slidesgo.

As an example, in this article, we are going to use the Ecology Thesis template . With it, we will show you what to include in your presentation and how to make an attractive design.

After choosing the Google Slides and PowerPoint template that best suits the needs and subject matter of your thesis, it is time to define an overarching concept.

This is the main theme on which your designs are based. It must be relevant to your thesis as its purpose is to guide your selection of colors, typography, images, style, etc. 

These must be portrayed in a way that supports the main message of your slides and should be aligned with your concept both visually and sociologically.

Once you have defined the concept, you will have to move on to the next step: structuring the content of your thesis. A good structure will show that there is a good organization behind the work, but most importantly: it will highlight your content.

In this article, we are going to show you a structure that could be a good example of how to structure a thesis, but you can adapt it to what your specific content requires.

Before you begin your thesis defense, you should welcome your audience. A good presentation will make you connect with your audience, which will result in more general interest in your work.

Use an appropriate language register (avoid informal language), but be approachable and natural.

"Welcome to the thesis defense on [the title of your thesis]". Next, introduce yourself with your name and give a short description of your background and occupation.

Don't forget to say “thank you for attending!”

To continue establishing that connection with your audience, explain the reasons that led you to do this thesis. Tell the professional reasons, and you can even say some personal ones, which will denote closeness, and your audience will appreciate it.

Now it's time to go into the content of the thesis ! After these preliminary steps, which are just as important as the thesis itself, it is time to explain part by part the structure (which you had previously established). We are going to propose a structure for your project, but the final decision is always yours!

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

First impressions are very important. Because your title page is the very first thing viewers see, it must be striking and impactful. It also sets the stage for the rest of your slides.

In one glance, the following should be established:

  • Thesis defense topic
  • Design style

For instance, the ecology thesis’s title page uses illustrations of a natural landscape to represent the topic of nature and a striking shade of blue to set the tone.

The sans serif font used depicts clean-cut typography and style and the thesis topic is written in large and bold typography, which draws attention to it immediately.

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Right after your title page, include an introduction slide to provide more details about your topic. 

This means explaining what you hope to answer with your research, its importance to your field, and why you chose it.

Continue to incorporate design elements relevant to your concept. This example has done just that by using a different natural landscape and including animals. For coherence, stick to the same typography and style throughout your presentation.

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

The aim of the literature review slide is to illustrate your knowledge of your thesis topic and any relevant theories.

Walls of text kill a design. For clarity, we recommend presenting this with bullet points. Each one should be short and sweet and only touch on the basics; you can elaborate on them in your speech. 

Don’t forget to be consistent with your design. In our example, we’ve maintained the tone of blue chosen and added illustrations of leaves in the far corners of the slide. 

Also, address similar research that has been done. This is to showcase your topic’s originality and, if relevant, how it’s different and/or an improvement from previously done research. 

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

This is one of the most important parts of a thesis defense presentation.

It allows your viewers to assess the rationality and validity of your approach and consequently, the accuracy of your results.

A great methodology slide explains the what , how, and why :

  • What method did you use for your research
  • Why did you choose it
  • How did you conduct it

Because this part of your thesis will be rather technical, the most effective way to aid understanding is by using graphics like charts and tables. 

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Keep text to a minimum to avoid drawing attention away from the graphics. If there is a text that must absolutely be included, consider using bullet points and keep them short.

Don’t forget to maintain color, style, and typography coherence.

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

The results slides are easily the most quantitative part of a thesis defense. 

Here, your aim is to simply introduce your findings. Select the most impactful data and highlight them here.

Just as with methodology, use graphics like charts, tables, and graphs to portray the data in a clear way. And, once again, try not to write too much text. Let the visual content do the talking .

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

After you’ve introduced your data, the next step would be to help your audience make sense of it. That means understanding what it means in the context of your thesis research topic and your discipline. 

Simply put, you should answer the question: What do the numbers mean?

The best way to approach this would be to do it as if you were creating an infographic . 

Illustrations like icons are a quick and simple way to represent your message. It also reduces the amount of text on your slide, which makes the information much more digestible. 

For a balanced thesis presentation, you should also address any outliers and anomalies.

To quote bestselling author Robin Sharma, “Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic.”

That’s exactly what to aim for in your conclusion.

Provide an overview of your thesis topic and remind your audience what you set out to answer with your research. In our example, we’ve used three icons accompanied by a short title and text. 

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Following that, reiterate the important points of your research results you want your audience to take away from your thesis defense presentation. 

You can do so by expanding the next slide to have more icons and points, for example.

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Don’t forget to address any shortcomings and limitations in your approach and extra points for suggesting possible improvements for future research.

We are going to give you a little tip to make your thesis defense a success. You can combine your defense with good public speaking techniques. Take a look at our article "How to become a great speaker" .

We hope this article has been of great help, have you already seen our templates to make the presentation of your thesis ? Choose the one that best suits your needs, we are sure that one of them will go perfectly with your thesis presentation! 

Good luck from Slidesgo.

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

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How to create a great thesis defense presentation: everything you need to know

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Anete Ezera April 13, 2024

Ready to take on your thesis defense presentation? It’s not just about wrapping up years of study; it’s your moment to share your insights and the impact of your work. A standout presentation can make all the difference. It’s your chance to highlight the essentials and really connect with your audience.

This is where Prezi comes into play. Forget about flipping through slide after slide. With Prezi, you craft a narrative that pulls your audience in. It simplifies the complex, ensuring your key points hit home. Let’s explore how Prezi can help transform your thesis defense into a successful presentation.

Public speaker at science convention.

What is a thesis defense presentation and why are they needed? 

Whether you’re preparing for a master’s thesis defense or a Ph.D. thesis defense, this final step in your academic journey is the one with the most significance, as it dramatically influences your final grade. It’s also your chance to display the dedication and effort you’ve put into your research, a way to demonstrate how significant your work is. 

So, why is this such a big deal? A good presentation helps convince your teachers that your research is solid and makes a difference in your field. It’s your time to answer questions, show that your research methods were sound, and point out what’s new and interesting about your work. In the end, a great thesis defense presentation helps you finish strong and makes sure you leave a lasting impression as you wrap up this chapter of your academic life.

Best practices for making a successful thesis defense presentation 

In order to craft a standout thesis defense presentation, you need to do more than just deliver research findings. Here are some key strategies to ensure success, and how Prezi can play a crucial role in elevating your presentation.

Start with a strong introduction

Kick-off with an engaging introduction that lays out your research question, its significance, and your objectives. This initial segment grabs attention and sets the tone. Using Prezi’s zoom feature can make your introduction pop by visually underscoring key points, helping your audience grasp the importance of your work right from the start.

Organize your presentation clearly

A coherent structure is essential for guiding your audience through your thesis defense presentation. Prezi can help by offering a map view of your content’s layout upfront, providing a clear path through your introduction, methodology, results, and conclusion. This clarity keeps your audience engaged and makes your arguments easier to follow.

Incorporate multimedia elements

Adding multimedia elements like videos, audio clips, and animations can greatly improve the appeal of your thesis defense presentation. Prezi supports the seamless integration of these elements, allowing you to bring your research to life in a more vibrant and engaging way. Videos can serve as powerful testimonials or demonstrations, while animations can help illustrate complex processes or changes over time. This variety keeps your audience engaged and helps convey your message in a more exciting way.

Smiling african woman giving presentation at startup. Happy female professional standing in front of a large television screen with a graph.

Simplify complex data

Your findings need to be presented in a way that’s easy for your audience to understand. Prezi shines here, with tools that transform intricate data into clear, engaging visuals. By implementing charts and graphs into your presentation, you can make your data stand out and support your narrative effectively.

Engage your audience

Make your thesis defense a two-way conversation by interacting with your audience. Whether it’s through questions, feedback, or direct participation, engagement is key. Prezi allows for a flexible presentation style, letting you navigate sections in response to audience input, creating a dynamic and engaging experience.

Highlight key takeaways

Emphasize the key takeaways of your research throughout your presentation to ensure your audience grasps the most critical aspects of your work. With Prezi, you can use spotlighting and strategic zooming to draw attention to these takeaways, making them stand out. This method helps reinforce your main points, ensuring they stick with your audience long after your presentation concludes. By clearly defining what your audience should remember, you guide their understanding and appreciation of your research’s value and implications.

Practice makes perfect

Confidence in delivery comes from thorough practice. Familiarize yourself with every aspect of your thesis defense presentation, including timing, voice control, and gestures. Prezi Video is a great tool for rehearsing, as it allows you to blend your presentation materials with your on-camera performance, mirroring the live defense setting and helping you polish your delivery.

Cropped shot of a businesswoman delivering a speech during a conference

End with a lasting impression

Conclude your presentation powerfully by summarizing your main findings, their implications, and future research directions. Prezi’s ability to zoom out and show the big picture at your conclusion helps reinforce how each section of your presentation contributes to your overall thesis, ensuring your research leaves a memorable impact on your audience.

By using these tips and taking advantage of what Prezi offers, you can make your thesis defense presentation really stand out. It’ll not only hit the mark with your audience but also clearly show why your research matters.

Meeting tight deadlines with Prezi 

Facing a looming deadline for your thesis defense presentation? Prezi offers smart solutions to help you create a polished and engaging presentation quickly, even if it feels like you’re down to the wire.

A closer look at Prezi AI features

Prezi AI is a standout feature for those pressed for time. It assists in structuring your presentation efficiently, suggesting design elements and layouts that elevate your content. This AI-driven approach means you can develop a presentation that looks meticulously planned and executed in a fraction of the time it would normally take. The result? A presentation that communicates the depth and value of your research clearly and effectively, without the last-minute rush being evident. Here’s what Prezi AI can do:

  • Streamlined creation process: At the core of Prezi’s efficiency is the AI presentation creator . Perfect for those last-minute crunch times, it’s designed to tackle tight deadlines with ease.
  • Easy start: Kick off your presentation creation with just a click on the “Create with AI” button. Prezi AI guides you through a smooth process, transforming your initial ideas or keywords into a structured and visually appealing narrative.
  • Visual impact: There’s no need to dive deep into design details. Simply provide some basic input, and Prezi AI will craft it into a presentation that grabs and holds your audience’s attention, making your thesis defense visually compelling.
  • AI text editing: Spending too much time fine-tuning your message? Prezi AI text editing features can help. Whether you need to expand on a concept, clarify complex terms, or condense your content without losing impact, Prezi AI streamlines these tasks.
  • Content refinement: Adjust text length for deeper explanation, simplify language for better understanding, and ensure your presentation’s content is precise and to the point. Prezi AI editing tools help you refine your message quickly, so you can focus on the essence of your research.

Using Prezi Video for remote thesis defense presentations

For remote thesis defenses, Prezi Video steps up to ensure your presentation stands out. It integrates your on-screen presence alongside your presentation content, creating a more personal and engaging experience for your audience. This is crucial in maintaining attention and interest, particularly in a virtual format where keeping your audience engaged presents additional challenges. Prezi Video makes it seem as though you’re presenting live alongside your slides, helping to simulate the in-person defense experience and keep your audience focused on what you’re saying.

Prezi Video

Using these advanced Prezi features, you can overcome tight deadlines with confidence, ensuring your thesis defense presentation is both impactful and memorable, no matter the time constraints.

The Prezi experience: what users have to say 

Prezi users have shared compelling insights on how the platform’s unique features have revolutionized their presentations. Here’s how their experiences can inspire your thesis defense presentation:

Storytelling with Prezi

Javier Schwersensky highlights the narrative power of Prezi: “This is a tool that is going to put you ahead of other people and make you look professional and make your ideas stand out,” he remarks. For your thesis defense, this means Prezi can help you craft a narrative that not only presents your research but tells a story that captures and retains the committee’s interest.

Flexibility and creativity

Tamara Montag-Smit appreciates Prezi for its “functionality of the presentation that allows you to present in a nonlinear manner.” This flexibility is key in a thesis defense, allowing you to adapt your presentation flow in real time based on your audience’s engagement or questions, ensuring a more dynamic and interactive defense.

The open canvas

Vitek Dočekal values Prezi’s open canvas , which offers “creative freedom” and the ability to “create a mind map and determine how to best present my ideas.” For your thesis defense, this means Prezi lets you lay out and show off your work in a way that makes sense and grabs your audience’s attention, turning complicated details into something easy and interesting to follow.

Engagement and retention

Adam Rose points out the engagement benefits of Prezi: “Being able to integrate videos is extremely effective in capturing their attention.” When you need to defend a thesis, using Prezi to include videos or interactive content can help keep your committee engaged, making your presentation much more memorable.

These real insights show just how effective Prezi is for crafting truly influential presentations. By incorporating Prezi into your thesis defense presentation, you can create a defense that not only shows how strong your research is but also leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

Thesis defense presentations for inspiration 

Prezi is much more than a platform for making presentations; it’s a place where you can find inspiration by browsing presentations that other Prezi users have made. Not only that, but Prezi offers numerous templates that would be useful for thesis defense presentations, making the design process much easier. Here are a few examples that you may find helpful: 

Research project template by Prezi 

This Prezi research project template stands out as an ideal choice for thesis defense presentations due to its well-structured format that facilitates storytelling from start to finish. It begins with a clear introduction and problem statement, setting a solid foundation for the narrative. The inclusion of sections for user research, interviews, demographics, and statistics allows for a detailed presentation of the research process and findings, which are crucial when defending a thesis. 

Visual elements like user mapping and journey maps help make complex information understandable and engaging, which is crucial for maintaining the committee’s attention. Additionally, addressing pain points and presenting prototypes showcases problem-solving efforts and practical applications of the research. The template culminates in a conclusion that ties everything together, emphasizing the research’s impact and future possibilities. Its comprehensive yet concise structure makes it an excellent tool for communicating the depth and significance of your work in a thesis defense.

Civil rights movement Prezi

This Prezi on the Civil Rights Movement exemplifies an effective thesis defense presentation by seamlessly blending structured content, multimedia enhancements, and dynamic navigation. It organizes information into coherent sections like “About,” “Key Events,” and “Key People,” offering a comprehensive view ideal for a thesis presentation. The strategic use of videos adds depth, providing historical context in a dynamic way that text alone cannot, enhancing the audience’s engagement and understanding. 

Furthermore, Prezi’s open canvas feature brings the narrative to life, allowing for a fluid journey through the Civil Rights Movement. This method of presentation, with its zooming and panning across a virtual canvas, not only captivates but also helps to clarify the connections between various elements of the research, showcasing how to effectively communicate complex ideas in a thesis defense.

AI-assisted history template

This AI-assisted presentation template stands out as a great choice for thesis defense presentations, especially for those rooted in historical research. By merging striking visuals with rich, informative content, you can use this template to craft a narrative that breathes life into past events, guiding the audience on an engaging journey through time. Its sequential storytelling approach, empowered by Prezi AI , ensures a smooth transition from one historical point to the next, demonstrating the depth and continuity of your research. This template showcases Prezi AI’s capability to enhance narrative flow. By integrating advanced visuals and text, it captivates audiences and makes it an invaluable tool for presenting complex historical theses in a clear, compelling way.

Master your final grade with a Prezi thesis defense presentation 

Preparing for a thesis defense, whether for a master’s or Ph.D., is a pivotal moment that significantly influences your final grade. It’s your platform to demonstrate the dedication behind your research and its importance in your field. A well-executed presentation convinces your educators of your research’s validity and your ability to bring fresh perspectives to light.

To craft a successful thesis defense presentation, Prezi’s innovative features can be a game-changer. Prezi can empower you to transform presentations into captivating stories and provide you with the flexibility and creative freedom needed to make your presentation an outstanding success. Incorporating videos or utilizing Prezi’s non-linear presentation style can keep your committee engaged and emphasize your research’s significance.

Prezi also serves as a hub of inspiration, offering templates perfect for thesis defenses. From structured research project templates to dynamic historical narratives, Prezi provides tools that communicate your thesis’s depth and significance effectively, ensuring you leave a memorable impact on your audience. So, it’s time to revamp your thesis defense presentation and change it from dull to inspirational with Prezi. 

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

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How to Pull Off Your Thesis Defense With a Great Presentation

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

You’ve reached the home stretch in your journey toward your post-graduate degree. You’ve diligently studied, researched and performed for years, and all that’s left is your master thesis or doctorate dissertation. 

“ All that’s left,” however, might be the understatement of the century. There’s nothing simple about orally defending your thesis, and this final stage often means the difference between a degree and a program that remains incomplete.

Even after you’ve dedicated months filled with blood, sweat and tears defining your argument, researching your support and writing your defense, you aren’t ready to address the academic panel. You still have to design an effective visual presentation, and the slide deck can make or break your entire thesis.

Unsure how to design a stellar slide deck to visually present your thesis or dissertation? Check out the following tips to pull off your master thesis defense with a great presentation:

1.   Properly structure your slide deck

Every master thesis defense presentation is unique, but most effective slide decks will follow a similar structure, including:  

  • Title - Just like a research paper, your thesis presentation must include a title slide. This should include the same information as any other title page: the title, your name, your academic institution, course name and the name of the academic advisor to your thesis or dissertation. That doesn’t mean your title slide needs to look like the start of any other Frankendeck . Instead, add your text atop a relative image, and adjust the brightness to ensure your text pops.
  • Introduction - Your thesis presentation should also include an introduction slide, which details the topic of your thesis, the question your research will seek to answer and any additional objectives to your research, as well as the answer or solution you will be defending.
  • Literature review - Following your thesis introduction, design one or more slides that review the literature you researched. This shouldn’t be a full bibliography (although that should be included in the accompanying written account of your research), but instead, the slides should list your most relevant research sources. If the information is featured on a slide, make sure you include its source. 
  • Methodology - Your thesis presentation slide deck should also include a slide (or slides) detailing the methodology of your research and argument. Here you want to describe the type of study— whether it’s quantitative, qualitative or a combination of the two, as well as an explanation of why you chose the method or methods you used. If you conducted original research, you will want to detail the study population, sampling methods and other details pertinent to your studies, while you’ll also want to detail how you analyzed your data.
  • Results - No thesis presentation slide deck is complete without dedicating slides to illustrate the results of your research. Be sure to include a description of any data you collected through your research, as well as the results of your analysis of the data. What were your most significant findings?
  • Discussion - How do the results of your research support your overall thesis argument? Be sure to include slides that discuss your overall findings and how they relate to your original question.
  • Conclusion - Concluding slides should restate your original research questions, represent the results of your research, suggest future research and make any final recommendations.
  • Ending slide – Close your thesis presentation with a concluding slide that offers an interesting quote or trivia that makes your audience further ponder your topic, a GIF or animation that recaptures the audience’s attention or even a hypothetical question that opens additional discussion from the academic panel. This is your opportunity to make your presentation memorable.

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Thesis Presentation vs. Dissertation

Thesis presentation and dissertation are two terms often used in academic settings related to upper education. While they are related, there are distinct differences between the two, which is important to understand as you begin to structure your thesis defense.

‍ A thesis presentation typically refers to the final oral presentation that a student gives to defend their thesis or research project. It is a formal presentation to explain their findings, methodology, and conclusions to a panel of faculty members or experts in the field. The purpose of a thesis defense presentation is to demonstrate the student's knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and to defend the validity of their research.

On the other hand, a dissertation refers to a lengthy and comprehensive research project that is typically required for the completion of a doctoral degree. It involves in-depth research, analysis, and the development of original ideas in a particular field of study. A dissertation is usually written over an extended period and is expected to contribute new knowledge or insights to the field. Unlike a thesis presentation, a dissertation is submitted in written form and is typically evaluated by a committee of faculty members or experts in the field.

2.   Choose which ideas to illustrate

Unless you have an hour to fill with your master thesis defense or doctorate dissertation, you won’t be able to include every idea from your overall research documentation in your slide show. Choose the most important ideas to illustrate on slides, while also keeping in mind what aspects of your research you’ll be able to visually represent.

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

3.   Define your presentation’s theme

A stellar thesis or dissertation presentation will be professional in appearance, and a cohesive design is an absolute must. Choose what types of typography and color schemes best support your topic. 

Instead of adjusting these settings on each individual slide— a tedious task at best— choose a PowerPoint-alternative presentation software like Beautiful.ai that allows you to customize a theme for your entire slide deck. Choose your fonts and other typography, your color palette, margins, footers, logos, transitions and more, and the cloud-based tool will automatically apply those design specifications to every slide you add to the master thesis defense presentation.

4.   Design simple and focused slides

You might have a lot of information to present, but when it comes to your thesis presentation— or almost any slide deck for that matter— less is more. Be sure every slide counts by focusing on your main points. 

Then, whatever you do, keep your slides simple. Not even an academic panel is going to dedicate much time deciphering a cluttered slide with all too many details. Try to avoid presenting more than one or two ideas on each slide.

5.   Include data visualizations

The whole point of your presentation is to illustrate the concepts included in your thesis. Humans are visual creatures and react strongly to imagery, and the panel evaluating your thesis or dissertation is no exception— regardless of how studious and formal the academics might seem. Illustrate the results of your research with colorful and engaging infographics . You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create them, either. 

Beautiful.ai users can choose from a host of smart slide templates with data visualizations — including favorites like bar graphs and pie charts , as well as less common options like scattergraphs , flow charts and pictograms . Just input your data and watch as our special brand of artificial intelligence creates the infographic for you.  

6.   Practice makes perfect

After spending months researching your thesis or dissertation, writing about your findings and designing a stellar master thesis defense presentation, you would hate to see all your hard work be for naught. That’s still a distinct possibility, however, if you don’t also practice your delivery. 

Practice, practice and practice some more until you know your master thesis defense like the back of your hand. No academic panel will be impressed by a graduate candidate who stumbles through their presentation or appears to be reading from their notes. Know the contents of every slide, as well as exactly what parts of your overall defense you want to deliver during its display. 

Things to keep in mind to help you nail your presentation

The golden rule of any presentation is to keep your audience engaged. You can ensure a more engaging presentation by maintaining eye contact, using appropriate gestures, and speaking clearly. You can also choose to include the audience in your presentation with interactive questions, polls, and slides.

To help boost audience retention, utilize storytelling. Studies show that when facts are presented in the form of a story, people are 22 times more likely to remember them. Talk about powerful.

Last but not least, plan for questions— and not simply by allowing time for them. Watch other thesis defenses delivered at your institution, and consider what types of questions the academic panel might ask, so you can prepare the best possible answer.

Extra credit:

Get started with our PhD Defense Thesis presentation template here .

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha is an independent journalist, editor, blogger and content manager. Examples of her published work can be found at sites including the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Buzzfeed.

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Preparing For Your Dissertation Defense

13 Key Questions To Expect In The Viva Voce

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) & David Phair (PhD) . Reviewed By: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | June 2021

Preparing for your dissertation or thesis defense (also called a “viva voce”) is a formidable task . All your hard work over the years leads you to this one point, and you’ll need to defend yourself against some of the most experienced researchers you’ve encountered so far.

It’s natural to feel a little nervous.

In this post, we’ll cover some of the most important questions you should be able to answer in your viva voce, whether it’s for a Masters or PhD degree. Naturally, they might not arise in exactly the same form (some may not come up at all), but if you can answer these questions well, it means you’re in a good position to tackle your oral defense.

Dissertation and thesis defense 101

Viva Voce Prep: 13 Essential Questions

  • What is your study about and why did you choose to research this in particular?
  • How did your research questions evolve during the research process?
  • How did you decide on which sources to include in your literature review?
  • How did you design your study and why did you take this approach?
  • How generalisable and valid are the findings?
  • What were the main shortcomings and limitations created by your research design?
  • How did your findings relate to the existing literature?
  • What were your key findings in relation to the research questions?
  • Were there any findings that surprised you?
  • What biases may exist in your research?
  • How can your findings be put into practice?
  • How has your research contributed to current thinking in the field?
  • If you could redo your research, how would you alter your approach?

#1: What is your study about and why did you choose to research this in particular?

This question, a classic party starter, is pretty straightforward.

What the dissertation or thesis committee is assessing here is your ability to clearly articulate your research aims, objectives and research questions in a concise manner. Concise is the keyword here – you need to clearly explain your research topic without rambling on for a half-hour. Don’t feel the need to go into the weeds here – you’ll have many opportunities to unpack the details later on.

In the second half of the question, they’re looking for a brief explanation of the justification of your research. In other words, why was this particular set of research aims, objectives and questions worth addressing? To address this question well in your oral defense, you need to make it clear what gap existed within the research and why that gap was worth filling.

#2: How did your research questions evolve during the research process?

Good research generally follows a long and winding path . It’s seldom a straight line (unless you got really lucky). What they’re assessing here is your ability to follow that path and let the research process unfold.

Specifically, they’ll want to hear about the impact that the literature review process had on you in terms of shaping the research aims, objectives and research questions . For example, you may have started with a certain set of aims, but then as you immersed yourself in the literature, you may have changed direction. Similarly, your initial fieldwork findings may have turned out some unexpected data that drove you to adjust or expand on your initial research questions.

Long story short – a good defense involves clearly describing your research journey , including all the twists and turns. Adjusting your direction based on findings in the literature or the fieldwork shows that you’re responsive , which is essential for high-quality research.

You will need to explain the impact of your literature review in the defense

#3: How did you decide on which sources to include in your literature review?

A comprehensive literature review is the foundation of any high-quality piece of research. With this question, your dissertation or thesis committee are trying to assess which quality criteria and approach you used to select the sources for your literature review.

Typically, good research draws on both the seminal work in the respective field and more recent sources . In other words, a combination of the older landmark studies and pivotal work, along with up-to-date sources that build on to those older studies. This combination ensures that the study has a rock-solid foundation but is not out of date.

So, make sure that your study draws on a mix of both the “classics” and new kids on the block, and take note of any major evolutions in the literature that you can use as an example when asked this question in your viva voce.

#4: How did you design your study and why did you take this approach?

This is a classic methodological question that you can almost certainly expect in some or other shape.

What they’re looking for here is a clear articulation of the research design and methodology, as well as a strong justification of each choice . So, you need to be able to walk through each methodological choice and clearly explain both what you did and why you did it. The why is particularly important – you need to be able to justify each choice you made by clearly linking your design back to your research aims, objectives and research questions, while also taking into account practical constraints.

To ensure you cover every base, check out our research methodology vlog post , as well as our post covering the Research Onion .

You have to justify every choice in your dissertation defence

#5: How generalizable and valid are the findings?

This question is aimed at specifically digging into your understanding of the sample and how that relates to the population, as well as potential validity issues in your methodology.

To answer question this well, you’ll need to critically assess your sample and findings and consider if they truly apply to the entire population, as well as whether they assessed what they set out to. Note that there are two components here – generalizability and validity . Generalizability is about how well the sample represents the population. Validity is about how accurately you’ve measured what you intended to measure .

To ace this part of your dissertation defense, make sure that you’re very familiar with the concepts of generalizability , validity and reliability , and how these apply to your research. Remember, you don’t need to achieve perfection – you just need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your research (and how the weaknesses could be improved upon).

Need a helping hand?

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

#6: What were the main shortcomings and limitations created by your research design?

This question picks up where the last one left off.

As I mentioned, it’s perfectly natural that your research will have shortcomings and limitations as a result of your chosen design and methodology. No piece of research is flawless. Therefore, a good dissertation defense is not about arguing that your work is perfect, but rather it’s about clearly articulating the strengths and weaknesses of your approach.

To address this question well, you need to think critically about all of the potential weaknesses your design may have, as well as potential responses to these (which could be adopted in future research) to ensure you’re well prepared for this question. For a list of common methodological limitations, check out our video about research limitations here .

#7: How did your findings relate to the existing literature?

This common dissertation defense question links directly to your discussion chapter , where you would have presented and discussed the findings in relation to your literature review.

What your dissertation or thesis committee is assessing here is your ability to compare your study’s findings to the findings of existing research . Specifically, you need to discuss which findings aligned with existing research and which findings did not. For those findings that contrasted against existing research, you should also explain what you believe to be the reasons for this.

As with many questions in a viva voce, it’s both the what and the why that matter here. So, you need to think deeply about what the underlying reasons may be for both the similarities and differences between your findings and those of similar studies.

Your dissertation defense needs to compare findings

#8: What were your key findings in relation to the research questions?

This question is similar to the last one in that it too focuses on your research findings. However, here the focus is specifically on the findings that directly relate to your research questions (as opposed to findings in general).

So, a good way to prepare for this question is to step back and revisit your research questions . Ask yourself the following:

  • What exactly were you asking in those questions, and what did your research uncover concerning them?
  • Which questions were well answered by your study and which ones were lacking?
  • Why were they lacking and what more could be done to address this in future research?

Conquering this part dissertation defense requires that you focus squarely on the research questions. Your study will have provided many findings (hopefully!), and not all of these will link directly to the research questions. Therefore, you need to clear your mind of all of the fascinating side paths your study may have lead you down and regain a clear focus on the research questions .

#9: Were there any findings that surprised you?

This question is two-pronged.

First, you should discuss the surprising findings that were directly related to the original research questions . Going into your research, you likely had some expectations in terms of what you would find, so this is your opportunity to discuss the outcomes that emerged as contrary to what you initially expected. You’ll also want to think about what the reasons for these contrasts may be.

Second, you should discuss the findings that weren’t directly related to the research questions, but that emerged from the data set . You may have a few or you may have none – although generally there are a handful of interesting musings that you can glean from the data set. Again, make sure you can articulate why you find these interesting and what it means for future research in the area.

What the committee is looking for in this type of question is your ability to interpret the findings holistically and comprehensively , and to respond to unexpected data. So, take the time to zoom out and reflect on your findings thoroughly.

Discuss the findings in your defense

#10: What biases may exist in your research?

Biases… we all have them.

For this question, you’ll need to think about potential biases in your research , in the data itself but also in your interpretation of the data. With this question, your committee is assessing whether you have considered your own potential biases and the biases inherent in your analysis approach (i.e. your methodology). So, think carefully about these research biases and be ready to explain how these may exist in your study.

In an oral defense, this question is often followed up with a question on how the biases were mitigated or could be mitigated in future research. So, give some thought not just to what biases may exist, but also the mitigation measures (in your own study and for future research).

#11: How can your findings be put into practice?

Another classic question in the typical viva voce.

With this question, your committee is assessing your ability to bring your findings back down to earth and demonstrate their practical value and application. Importantly, this question is not about the contribution to academia or the overall field of research (we’ll get to that next) – it is specifically asking about how this newly created knowledge can be used in the real world.

Naturally, the actionability of your findings will vary depending on the nature of your research topic. Some studies will produce many action points and some won’t. If you’re researching marketing strategies within an industry, for example, you should be able to make some very specific recommendations for marketing practitioners in that industry.

To help you flesh out points for this question, look back at your original justification for the research (i.e. in your introduction and literature review chapters). What were the driving forces that led you to research your specific topic? That justification should help you identify ways in which your findings can be put into practice.

#12: How has your research contributed to current thinking in the field?

While the previous question was aimed at practical contribution, this question is aimed at theoretical contribution . In other words, what is the significance of your study within the current body of research? How does it fit into the existing research and what does it add to it?

This question is often asked by a field specialist and is used to assess whether you’re able to place your findings into the research field to critically convey what your research contributed. This argument needs to be well justified – in other words, you can’t just discuss what your research contributed, you need to also back each proposition up with a strong why .

To answer this question well, you need to humbly consider the quality and impact of your work and to be realistic in your response. You don’t want to come across as arrogant (“my work is groundbreaking”), nor do you want to undersell the impact of your work. So, it’s important to strike the right balance between realistic and pessimistic .

This question also opens the door to questions about potential future research . So, think about what future research opportunities your study has created and which of these you feel are of the highest priority.

Discuss your contribution in your thesis defence

#13: If you could redo your research, how would you alter your approach?

This question is often used to wrap up a viva voce as it brings the discussion full circle.

Here, your committee is again assessing your ability to clearly identify and articulate the limitations and shortcomings of your research, both in terms of research design and topic focus . Perhaps, in hindsight, it would have been better to use a different analysis method or data set. Perhaps the research questions should have leaned in a slightly different direction. And so on.

This question intends to assess whether you’re able to look at your work critically , assess where the weaknesses are and make recommendations for the future . This question often sets apart those who did the research purely because it was required, from those that genuinely engaged with their research. So, don’t hold back here – reflect on your entire research journey ask yourself how you’d do things differently if you were starting with a  blank canvas today.

Recap: The 13 Key Dissertation Defense Questions

To recap, here are the 13 questions you need to be ready for to ace your dissertation or thesis oral defense:

As I mentioned, this list of dissertation defense questions is certainly not exhaustive – don’t assume that we’ve covered every possible question here. However, these questions are quite likely to come up in some shape or form in a typical dissertation or thesis defense, whether it’s for a Master’s degree, PhD or any other research degree. So, you should take the time to make sure you can answer them well.

If you need assistance preparing for your dissertation defense or viva voce, get in touch with us to discuss 1-on-1 coaching. We can critically review your research and identify potential issues and responses, as well as undertake a mock oral defense to prepare you for the pressures and stresses on the day.

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Psst... there’s more!

This post was based on one of our popular Research Bootcamps . If you're working on a research project, you'll definitely want to check this out ...

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12 Comments

Jalla Dullacha

Very interesting

Fumtchum JEFFREY

Interesting. I appreciate!

Dargo Haftu

Really appreciating

My field is International Trade

Abera Gezahegn

Interesting

Peter Gumisiriza

This is a full course on defence. I was fabulously enlightened and I gained enough confidence for my upcoming Masters Defence.

There are many lessons to learn and the simplicity in presentationmakes thee reader say “YesI can”

Milly Nalugoti

This is so helping… it has Enlightened me on how to answer specific questions. I pray to make it through for my upcoming defense

Derek Jansen

Lovely to hear that 🙂

bautister

Really educative and beneficial

Tweheyo Charles

Interesting. On-point and elaborate. And comforting too! Thanks.

Ismailu Kulme Emmanuel

Thank you very much for the enlightening me, be blessed

Gladys Oyat

Thankyou so much. I am planning to defend my thesis soon and I found this very useful

Augustine Mtega

Very interesting and useful to all masters and PhD students

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How to prepare an excellent thesis defense

Thesis defence

What is a thesis defense?

How long is a thesis defense, what happens at a thesis defense, your presentation, questions from the committee, 6 tips to help you prepare for your thesis defense, 1. anticipate questions and prepare for them, 2. dress for success, 3. ask for help, as needed, 4. have a backup plan, 5. prepare for the possibility that you might not know an answer, 6. de-stress before, during, and after, frequently asked questions about preparing an excellent thesis defense, related articles.

If you're about to complete, or have ever completed a graduate degree, you have most likely come across the term "thesis defense." In many countries, to finish a graduate degree, you have to write a thesis .

A thesis is a large paper, or multi-chapter work, based on a topic relating to your field of study.

Once you hand in your thesis, you will be assigned a date to defend your work. Your thesis defense meeting usually consists of you and a committee of two or more professors working in your program. It may also include other people, like professionals from other colleges or those who are working in your field.

During your thesis defense, you will be asked questions about your work. The main purpose of your thesis defense is for the committee to make sure that you actually understand your field and focus area.

The questions are usually open-ended and require the student to think critically about their work. By the time of your thesis defense, your paper has already been evaluated. The questions asked are not designed so that you actually have to aggressively "defend" your work; often, your thesis defense is more of a formality required so that you can get your degree.

  • Check with your department about requirements and timing.
  • Re-read your thesis.
  • Anticipate questions and prepare for them.
  • Create a back-up plan to deal with technology hiccups.
  • Plan de-stressing activities both before, and after, your defense.

How long your oral thesis defense is depends largely on the institution and requirements of your degree. It is best to consult your department or institution about this. In general, a thesis defense may take only 20 minutes, but it may also take two hours or more. The length also depends on how much time is allocated to the presentation and questioning part.

Tip: Check with your department or institution as soon as possible to determine the approved length for a thesis defense.

First of all, be aware that a thesis defense varies from country to country. This is just a general overview, but a thesis defense can take many different formats. Some are closed, others are public defenses. Some take place with two committee members, some with more examiners.

The same goes for the length of your thesis defense, as mentioned above. The most important first step for you is to clarify with your department what the structure of your thesis defense will look like. In general, your thesis defense will include:

  • your presentation of around 20-30 minutes
  • questions from the committee
  • questions from the audience (if the defense is public and the department allows it)

You might have to give a presentation, often with Powerpoint, Google slides, or Keynote slides. Make sure to prepare an appropriate amount of slides. A general rule is to use about 10 slides for a 20-minute presentation.

But that also depends on your specific topic and the way you present. The good news is that there will be plenty of time ahead of your thesis defense to prepare your slides and practice your presentation alone and in front of friends or family.

Tip: Practice delivering your thesis presentation in front of family, friends, or colleagues.

You can prepare your slides by using information from your thesis' first chapter (the overview of your thesis) as a framework or outline. Substantive information in your thesis should correspond with your slides.

Make sure your slides are of good quality— both in terms of the integrity of the information and the appearance. If you need more help with how to prepare your presentation slides, both the ASQ Higher Education Brief and James Hayton have good guidelines on the topic.

The committee will ask questions about your work after you finish your presentation. The questions will most likely be about the core content of your thesis, such as what you learned from the study you conducted. They may also ask you to summarize certain findings and to discuss how your work will contribute to the existing body of knowledge.

Tip: Read your entire thesis in preparation of the questions, so you have a refreshed perspective on your work.

While you are preparing, you can create a list of possible questions and try to answer them. You can foresee many of the questions you will get by simply spending some time rereading your thesis.

Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your thesis defense:

You can absolutely prepare for most of the questions you will be asked. Read through your thesis and while you're reading it, create a list of possible questions. In addition, since you will know who will be on the committee, look at the academic expertise of the committee members. In what areas would they most likely be focused?

If possible, sit at other thesis defenses with these committee members to get a feel for how they ask and what they ask. As a graduate student, you should generally be adept at anticipating test questions, so use this advantage to gather as much information as possible before your thesis defense meeting.

Your thesis defense is a formal event, often the entire department or university is invited to participate. It signals a critical rite of passage for graduate students and faculty who have supported them throughout a long and challenging process.

While most universities don't have specific rules on how to dress for that event, do regard it with dignity and respect. This one might be a no-brainer, but know that you should dress as if you were on a job interview or delivering a paper at a conference.

It might help you deal with your stress before your thesis defense to entrust someone with the smaller but important responsibilities of your defense well ahead of schedule. This trusted person could be responsible for:

  • preparing the room of the day of defense
  • setting up equipment for the presentation
  • preparing and distributing handouts

Technology is unpredictable. Life is too. There are no guarantees that your Powerpoint presentation will work at all or look the way it is supposed to on the big screen. We've all been there. Make sure to have a plan B for these situations. Handouts can help when technology fails, and an additional clean shirt can save the day if you have a spill.

One of the scariest aspects of the defense is the possibility of being asked a question you can't answer. While you can prepare for some questions, you can never know exactly what the committee will ask.

There will always be gaps in your knowledge. But your thesis defense is not about being perfect and knowing everything, it's about how you deal with challenging situations. You are not expected to know everything.

James Hayton writes on his blog that examiners will sometimes even ask questions they don't know the answer to, out of curiosity, or because they want to see how you think. While it is ok sometimes to just say "I don't know", he advises to try something like "I don't know, but I would think [...] because of x and y, but you would need to do [...] in order to find out.” This shows that you have the ability to think as an academic.

You will be nervous. But your examiners will expect you to be nervous. Being well prepared can help minimize your stress, but do know that your examiners have seen this many times before and are willing to help, by repeating questions, for example. Dora Farkas at finishyourthesis.com notes that it’s a myth that thesis committees are out to get you.

Two common symptoms of being nervous are talking really fast and nervous laughs. Try to slow yourself down and take a deep breath. Remember what feels like hours to you are just a few seconds in real life.

  • Try meditational breathing right before your defense.
  • Get plenty of exercise and sleep in the weeks prior to your defense.
  • Have your clothes or other items you need ready to go the night before.
  • During your defense, allow yourself to process each question before answering.
  • Go to dinner with friends and family, or to a fun activity like mini-golf, after your defense.

Allow yourself to process each question, respond to it, and stop talking once you have responded. While a smile can often help dissolve a difficult situation, remember that nervous laughs can be irritating for your audience.

We all make mistakes and your thesis defense will not be perfect. However, careful preparation, mindfulness, and confidence can help you feel less stressful both before, and during, your defense.

Finally, consider planning something fun that you can look forward to after your defense.

It is completely normal to be nervous. Being well prepared can help minimize your stress, but do know that your examiners have seen this many times before and are willing to help, by repeating questions for example if needed. Slow yourself down, and take a deep breath.

Your thesis defense is not about being perfect and knowing everything, it's about how you deal with challenging situations. James Hayton writes on his blog that it is ok sometimes to just say "I don't know", but he advises to try something like "I don't know, but I would think [...] because of x and y, you would need to do [...] in order to find out".

Your Powerpoint presentation can get stuck or not look the way it is supposed to do on the big screen. It can happen and your supervisors know it. In general, handouts can always save the day when technology fails.

  • Dress for success.
  • Ask for help setting up.
  • Have a backup plan (in case technology fails you).
  • Deal with your nerves.

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Graduate Center | Home

Defending Your Dissertation: A Guide

A woman in front of a bookshelf speaking to a laptop

Written by Luke Wink-Moran | Photo by insta_photos

Dissertation defenses are daunting, and no wonder; it’s not a “dissertation discussion,” or a “dissertation dialogue.” The name alone implies that the dissertation you’ve spent the last x number of years working on is subject to attack. And if you don’t feel trepidation for semantic reasons, you might be nervous because you don’t know what to expect. Our imaginations are great at making The Unknown scarier than reality. The good news is that you’ll find in this newsletter article experts who can shed light on what dissertations defenses are really like, and what you can do to prepare for them.

The first thing you should know is that your defense has already begun. It started the minute you began working on your dissertation— maybe even in some of the classes you took beforehand that helped you formulate your ideas. This, according to Dr. Celeste Atkins, is why it’s so important to identify a good mentor early in graduate school.

“To me,” noted Dr. Atkins, who wrote her dissertation on how sociology faculty from traditionally marginalized backgrounds teach about privilege and inequality, “the most important part of the doctoral journey was finding an advisor who understood and supported what I wanted from my education and who was willing to challenge me and push me, while not delaying me.  I would encourage future PhDs to really take the time to get to know the faculty before choosing an advisor and to make sure that the members of their committee work well together.”

Your advisor will be the one who helps you refine arguments and strengthen your work so that by the time it reaches your dissertation committee, it’s ready. Next comes the writing process, which many students have said was the hardest part of their PhD. I’ve included this section on the writing process because this is where you’ll create all the material you’ll present during your defense, so it’s important to navigate it successfully. The writing process is intellectually grueling, it eats time and energy, and it’s where many students find themselves paddling frantically to avoid languishing in the “All-But-Dissertation” doldrums. The writing process is also likely to encroach on other parts of your life. For instance, Dr. Cynthia Trejo wrote her dissertation on college preparation for Latin American students while caring for a twelve-year-old, two adult children, and her aging parents—in the middle of a pandemic. When I asked Dr. Trejo how she did this, she replied:

“I don’t take the privilege of education for granted. My son knew I got up at 4:00 a.m. every morning, even on weekends, even on holidays; and it’s a blessing that he’s seen that work ethic and that dedication and the end result.”

Importantly, Dr. Trejo also exercised regularly and joined several online writing groups at UArizona. She mobilized her support network— her partner, parents, and even friends from high school to help care for her son.

The challenges you face during the writing process can vary by discipline. Jessika Iwanski is an MD/PhD student who in 2022 defended her dissertation on genetic mutations in sarcomeric proteins that lead to severe, neonatal dilated cardiomyopathy. She described her writing experience as “an intricate process of balancing many things at once with a deadline (defense day) that seems to be creeping up faster and faster— finishing up experiments, drafting the dissertation, preparing your presentation, filling out all the necessary documents for your defense and also, for MD/PhD students, beginning to reintegrate into the clinical world (reviewing your clinical knowledge and skill sets)!”

But no matter what your unique challenges are, writing a dissertation can take a toll on your mental health. Almost every student I spoke with said they saw a therapist and found their sessions enormously helpful. They also looked to the people in their lives for support. Dr. Betsy Labiner, who wrote her dissertation on Interiority, Truth, and Violence in Early Modern Drama, recommended, “Keep your loved ones close! This is so hard – the dissertation lends itself to isolation, especially in the final stages. Plus, a huge number of your family and friends simply won’t understand what you’re going through. But they love you and want to help and are great for getting you out of your head and into a space where you can enjoy life even when you feel like your dissertation is a flaming heap of trash.”

While you might sometimes feel like your dissertation is a flaming heap of trash, remember: a) no it’s not, you brilliant scholar, and b) the best dissertations aren’t necessarily perfect dissertations. According to Dr. Trejo, “The best dissertation is a done dissertation.” So don’t get hung up on perfecting every detail of your work. Think of your dissertation as a long-form assignment that you need to finish in order to move onto the next stage of your career. Many students continue revising after graduation and submit their work for publication or other professional objectives.

When you do finish writing your dissertation, it’s time to schedule your defense and invite friends and family to the part of the exam that’s open to the public. When that moment comes, how do you prepare to present your work and field questions about it?

“I reread my dissertation in full in one sitting,” said Dr. Labiner. “During all my time writing it, I’d never read more than one complete chapter at a time! It was a huge confidence boost to read my work in full and realize that I had produced a compelling, engaging, original argument.”

There are many other ways to prepare: create presentation slides and practice presenting them to friends or alone; think of questions you might be asked and answer them; think about what you want to wear or where you might want to sit (if you’re presenting on Zoom) that might give you a confidence boost. Iwanksi practiced presenting with her mentor and reviewed current papers to anticipate what questions her committee might ask.  If you want to really get in the zone, you can emulate Dr. Labiner and do a full dress rehearsal on Zoom the day before your defense.

But no matter what you do, you’ll still be nervous:

“I had a sense of the logistics, the timing, and so on, but I didn’t really have clear expectations outside of the structure. It was a sort of nebulous three hours in which I expected to be nauseatingly terrified,” recalled Dr. Labiner.

“I expected it to be terrifying, with lots of difficult questions and constructive criticism/comments given,” agreed Iwanski.

“I expected it to be very scary,” said Dr. Trejo.

“I expected it to be like I was on trial, and I’d have to defend myself and prove I deserved a PhD,” said Dr Atkins.

And, eventually, inexorably, it will be time to present.  

“It was actually very enjoyable” said Iwanski. “It was more of a celebration of years of work put into this project—not only by me but by my mentor, colleagues, lab members and collaborators! I felt very supported by all my committee members and, rather than it being a rapid fire of questions, it was more of a scientific discussion amongst colleagues who are passionate about heart disease and muscle biology.”

“I was anxious right when I logged on to the Zoom call for it,” said Dr. Labiner, “but I was blown away by the number of family and friends that showed up to support me. I had invited a lot of people who I didn’t at all think would come, but every single person I invited was there! Having about 40 guests – many of them joining from different states and several from different countries! – made me feel so loved and celebrated that my nerves were steadied very quickly. It also helped me go into ‘teaching mode’ about my work, so it felt like getting to lead a seminar on my most favorite literature.”

“In reality, my dissertation defense was similar to presenting at an academic conference,” said Dr. Atkins. “I went over my research in a practiced and organized way, and I fielded questions from the audience.

“It was a celebration and an important benchmark for me,” said Dr. Trejo. “It was a pretty happy day. Like the punctuation at the end of your sentence: this sentence is done; this journey is done. You can start the next sentence.”

If you want to learn more about dissertations in your own discipline, don’t hesitate to reach out to graduates from your program and ask them about their experiences. If you’d like to avail yourself of some of the resources that helped students in this article while they wrote and defended their dissertations, check out these links:

The Graduate Writing Lab

https://thinktank.arizona.edu/writing-center/graduate-writing-lab

The Writing Skills Improvement Program

https://wsip.arizona.edu

Campus Health Counseling and Psych Services

https://caps.arizona.edu

https://www.scribbr.com/

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Video on How To Do a Proper Thesis Defense Presentation

In this guide, we’ll provide you with essential tips and advice on how to ace your thesis defense and impress your committee. We’ll walk you through the essential elements of your presentation, such as your title page, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusions slides. For further infromation you can check our full article where we explain into detail how to use SlideModel PowerPoint Templates to save time creating your thesis presentation .

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Enago Academy

13 Tips to Prepare for Your PhD Dissertation Defense

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How well do you know your project? Years of experiments, analysis of results, and tons of literature study, leads you to how well you know your research study. And, PhD dissertation defense is a finale to your PhD years. Often, researchers question how to excel at their thesis defense and spend countless hours on it. Days, weeks, months, and probably years of practice to complete your doctorate, needs to surpass the dissertation defense hurdle.

In this article, we will discuss details of how to excel at PhD dissertation defense and list down some interesting tips to prepare for your thesis defense.

Table of Contents

What Is Dissertation Defense?

Dissertation defense or Thesis defense is an opportunity to defend your research study amidst the academic professionals who will evaluate of your academic work. While a thesis defense can sometimes be like a cross-examination session, but in reality you need not fear the thesis defense process and be well prepared.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/c/JamesHaytonPhDacademy

What are the expectations of committee members.

Choosing the dissertation committee is one of the most important decision for a research student. However, putting your dissertation committee becomes easier once you understand the expectations of committee members.

The basic function of your dissertation committee is to guide you through the process of proposing, writing, and revising your dissertation. Moreover, the committee members serve as mentors, giving constructive feedback on your writing and research, also guiding your revision efforts.

The dissertation committee is usually formed once the academic coursework is completed. Furthermore, by the time you begin your dissertation research, you get acquainted to the faculty members who will serve on your dissertation committee. Ultimately, who serves on your dissertation committee depends upon you.

Some universities allow an outside expert (a former professor or academic mentor) to serve on your committee. It is advisable to choose a faculty member who knows you and your research work.

How to Choose a Dissertation Committee Member?

  • Avoid popular and eminent faculty member
  • Choose the one you know very well and can approach whenever you need them
  • A faculty member whom you can learn from is apt.
  • Members of the committee can be your future mentors, co-authors, and research collaborators. Choose them keeping your future in mind.

How to Prepare for Dissertation Defense?

dissertation defense

1. Start Your Preparations Early

Thesis defense is not a 3 or 6 months’ exercise. Don’t wait until you have completed all your research objectives. Start your preparation well in advance, and make sure you know all the intricacies of your thesis and reasons to all the research experiments you conducted.

2. Attend Presentations by Other Candidates

Look out for open dissertation presentations at your university. In fact, you can attend open dissertation presentations at other universities too. Firstly, this will help you realize how thesis defense is not a scary process. Secondly, you will get the tricks and hacks on how other researchers are defending their thesis. Finally, you will understand why dissertation defense is necessary for the university, as well as the scientific community.

3. Take Enough Time to Prepare the Slides

Dissertation defense process harder than submitting your thesis well before the deadline. Ideally, you could start preparing the slides after finalizing your thesis. Spend more time in preparing the slides. Make sure you got the right data on the slides and rephrase your inferences, to create a logical flow to your presentation.

4. Structure the Presentation

Do not be haphazard in designing your presentation. Take time to create a good structured presentation. Furthermore, create high-quality slides which impresses the committee members. Make slides that hold your audience’s attention. Keep the presentation thorough and accurate, and use smart art to create better slides.

5. Practice Breathing Techniques

Watch a few TED talk videos and you will notice that speakers and orators are very fluent at their speech. In fact, you will not notice them taking a breath or falling short of breath. The only reason behind such effortless oratory skill is practice — practice in breathing technique.

Moreover, every speaker knows how to control their breath. Long and steady breaths are crucial. Pay attention to your breathing and slow it down. All you need I some practice prior to this moment.

6. Create an Impactful Introduction

The audience expects a lot from you. So your opening statement should enthrall the audience. Furthermore, your thesis should create an impact on the members; they should be thrilled by your thesis and the way you expose it.

The introduction answers most important questions, and most important of all “Is this presentation worth the time?” Therefore, it is important to make a good first impression , because the first few minutes sets the tone for your entire presentation.

7. Maintain Your Own List of Questions

While preparing for the presentation, make a note of all the questions that you ask yourself. Try to approach all the questions from a reader’s point of view. You could pretend like you do not know the topic and think of questions that could help you know the topic much better.

The list of questions will prepare you for the questions the members may pose while trying to understand your research. Attending other candidates’ open discussion will also help you assume the dissertation defense questions.

8. Practice Speech and Body Language

After successfully preparing your slides and practicing, you could start focusing on how you look while presenting your thesis. This exercise is not for your appearance but to know your body language and relax if need be.

Pay attention to your body language. Stand with your back straight, but relax your shoulders. The correct posture will give you the feel of self-confidence. So, observe yourself in the mirror and pay attention to movements you make.

9. Give Mock Presentation

Giving a trial defense in advance is a good practice. The most important factor for the mock defense is its similarity to your real defense, so that you get the experience that prepares for the actual defense.

10. Learn How to Handle Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. However, it is important to carry on. Do not let the mistakes affect your thesis defense. Take a deep breath and move on to the next point.

11. Do Not Run Through the Presentation

If you are nervous, you would want to end the presentation as soon as possible. However, this situation will give rise to anxiety and you will speak too fast, skipping the essential details. Eventually, creating a fiasco of your dissertation defense .

12. Get Plenty of Rest

Out of the dissertation defense preparation points, this one is extremely important. Obviously, sleeping a day before your big event is hard, but you have to focus and go to bed early, with the clear intentions of getting the rest you deserve.

13. Visualize Yourself Defending Your Thesis

This simple exercise creates an immense impact on your self-confidence. All you have to do is visualize yourself giving a successful presentation each evening before going to sleep. Everyday till the day of your thesis defense, see yourself standing in front of the audience and going from one point to another.

This exercise takes a lot of commitment and persistence, but the results in the end are worth it. Visualization makes you see yourself doing the scary thing of defending your thesis.

If you have taken all these points into consideration, you are ready for your big day. You have worked relentlessly for your PhD degree , and you will definitely give your best in this final step.

Have you completed your thesis defense? How did you prepare for it and how was your experience throughout your dissertation defense ? Do write to us or comment below.

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The tips are very useful.I will recomend it to our students.

Excellent. As a therapist trying to help a parent of a candidate, I am very impressed and thankful your concise, clear, action-oriented article. Thank you.

Thanks for your sharing. It is so good. I can learn a lot from your ideas. Hope that in my dissertation defense next time I can pass

The tips are effective. Will definitely apply them in my dissertation.

My dissertation defense is coming up in less than two weeks from now, I find this tips quite instructive, I’ll definitely apply them. Thank you so much.

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The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your PhD Dissertation Defense Presentation

January 12, 2023

The Ultimate Guide for Preparing Your PhD Dissertation Defense Presentation

Chances are, you’ve been waiting years for this moment: preparing your PhD dissertation defense.

You’ve made it this far in your doctorate journey, so you’ll really want to nail the final thing standing between you and your PhD.

We’ll break down everything you need to know, from what the dissertation defense is to how to prepare and more importantly, succeed.

Here’s our ultimate guide for preparing for your PhD dissertation defense.

What Is a PhD Dissertation Defense Presentation?

A PhD dissertation defense is your chance to defend your work in front of the academics analyzing your research. You might also hear this called a “thesis defense.” 

Although the thought of having experts critique you in a cross-examination setting, a dissertation defense is just an opportunity for you to show off your best work .

What Is a PhD Dissertation Committee?

A PhD dissertation committee is a group you assemble to guide you through the dissertation process, from preparation to the revision of your dissertation. 

You choose the members of the committee after all the academic work is finalized. Usually, members will be trusted faculty — people you know well who you might consider a mentor. 

How to Prepare for Your PhD Dissertation Defense Presentation

Preparing for your PhD dissertation defense doesn’t have to be stressful. 

Try using Yoodli , an AI-powered speech coach that analyzes your speaking patterns and identifies areas in which you can improve. By practicing your dissertation defense presentation through Yoodli, you’ll be able to not only improve your speaking, but boost your confidence as well. 

For example, you can take an in-depth look at the filler words you use, including which ones come up the most often and precisely how often they come up.

The Ultimate Guide for Preparing Your PhD Dissertation Defense Presentation

Here are three more tips for preparing your PhD dissertation defense.

1. Don’t wait around.

One of the best things you can do for yourself when preparing your PhD dissertation defense is to start the work early. You won’t regret starting “too early” like you would regret starting the preparation too late in the game. 

Designing your presentation slides will take time and isn’t something you can slap together in a pinch. Right after your thesis is finalized, start on the slides. Your aim is to impress the committee with a thought-out, clear presentation that presents your work in a good light.

2. Practice, practice, practice.

It doesn’t matter how confident or comfortable you are with regard to your work and the actual PhD dissertation defense — you need to practice like your life depends on it. 

Be sure to practice not only the presentation, but also your body language, like hand gestures . You don’t want to seem too stiff or anxious during your dissertation defense, and practicing all these elements at once gives you an idea of what you need to work on. 

You’ll also want to work on your tone, to make sure you don’t come off as sounding monotonic . You want the committee members to feel interested and engaged. 

Taking one of Yoodli’s free public speaking courses — such as the fundamentals of public speaking — can also build on your confidence and make you feel more comfortable during the dissertation defense. 

Check out Yoodli’s 10-minute course here:

3. Check out other candidates’ presentations.

Sometimes, universities will offer open PhD dissertation defense presentations. If your university is one of them, it’s a great idea to attend a few . If your university doesn’t offer open dissertation presentations, check out other local universities that might offer these.

Watching other candidates’ presentations can help you not only get a firsthand look at how a presentation should (or shouldn’t!) go, but also to affirm that dissertation defense presentations aren’t as awful and scary as you might think they are. You might even get some insight or a few ideas for your own presentation while you’re at it.

The Bottom Line

Preparing for your PhD dissertation defense presentation doesn’t have to be overwhelming. After all, it’s all part of your doctorate journey . With preparation and practice, you can use this opportunity to shine and show off your best work. 

Start practicing with Yoodli.

Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.

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PhD Dissertation Defense Slides Design: Example slides

  • Tips for designing the slides
  • Presentation checklist
  • Example slides
  • Additional Resources

Acknowledgments

Thank all ph.d.s for sharing their presentations. if you are interested in sharing your slides, please contact julie chen ([email protected])., civil and environmental engineering.

  • Carl Malings (2017)
  • Irem Velibeyoglu (2018)
  • Chelsea Kolb (2018)
  • I. Daniel Posen (2016)
  • Kerim Dickson (2018)
  • Lauren M. Cook (2018)
  • Xiaoju Chen (2017)
  • Wei Ma (2019)
  • Miranda Gorman (2019)
  • Tim Bartholomew (2019)
  • << Previous: Presentation checklist
  • Next: Additional Resources >>
  • Last Updated: Jan 9, 2024 11:18 AM
  • URL: https://guides.library.cmu.edu/c.php?g=883178

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Trapped in dissertation revisions?

How to create a dissertation proposal defense powerpoint (+example), published by steve tippins on june 21, 2022 june 21, 2022.

Last Updated on: 2nd February 2024, 02:45 am

As part of the dissertation process, you will need to create a dissertation proposal defense PowerPoint to present a summary of the plan for your study. You will need to show how important your study is and how it is useful. 

When creating the PowerPoint, keep in mind that you need to make sure all of your audience can understand all aspects of your study.  The exact content for the defense PowerPoint varies by college, discipline and department, so it is important that you discuss with your committee chair about the requirements. However, we will give some general guidelines that apply to most institutions.

woman in orange jacket wearing headphones and working on her dissertation defense

The defense typically takes 20‐30 minutes. You should keep the timeframe in mind as you consider the information you will have in your presentation. 

Except for aspects of your presentation, such as the research question(s) or hypothesis(es), do not just read the slides. Instead, explain or expand on what is on the slides. To ensure you keep within the timeframe, practice narrating your PowerPoint presentation. 

Although the APA manual does not provide guidelines for creating a PowerPoint presentation, you will need to follow some of the APA style guidelines within your PowerPoint. 

For example, provide in-text citations for quotes, paraphrases, images, graphs, and other information that should be cited. Also, you will need to provide a list of pertinent references. 

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

The following are other format requirements for the slides :

  • Create 17-20 slides.
  • Do not provide a lot of information. Be concise and write a few sentences (approximately 1-7 on each slide). 
  • Because your slides will contain only a small amount of information, any extra information that you want to touch on should be put in the notes section of the PowerPoint. 
  • Write the information in your slides for visual appeal and optimum communication, using a legible font size. 
  • You can use graphics and images to enhance and reinforce the information. However, ensure that they do not distract from your information.
  • You can use bullet points but keep them to a minimum of 3-4 for each listing.

Example Dissertation Proposal Defense PowerPoint Format

man in denim shirt using his laptop to create a dissertation proposal

The dissertation proposal will consist of three chapters, which you will be providing information on in the presentation. Although the contents and order of the contents may vary, there are some basic parts of the proposal that are usually required.  

The following is a breakdown of the usual contents that are included in the presentation. Each of these headings below represents the titles of each slide. The information below the headings is the type of content you will need to provide. 

Title (1 slide) : 

  • Dissertation’s Title 
  • Department of Program of Study/Name of University
  • Chair and Committee Members

Statement of the Problem (1 slide):

  • Provide the problem that your dissertation will address. 

Purpose of the Study (1 slide):

  • Provide what the study will do relative to the issue(s) defined in the statement of the problem.

Significance of the Study (1 slide):

  • Provide the main argument of why the solution to the problem that you propose is important. 

Research Question(s)/Hypothesis(es ) (1 slide):

  • Provide the research question(s) or hypothesis(es) relevant to your field of study, written exactly as it is in your dissertation proposal.

The Literature Review (2 slides):  

  • These slides should consist of a coherent, organized overview of the main literature that frames your study’s problem, and the gap in literature that your study will address. Make sure that you include the sources. 

Theoretical/Conceptual Framework (1 slide):

  • This slide should consist of the theoretical/conceptual framework that will help you make sense of the phenomenon that you will investigate. 

Research Design (1 slide):

  • Provide the framework for the methods of data collection and data analysis. Indicate whether the study will be quantitative or qualitative.

Sample and Population (1 slide):

  • Provide the population that refers to the entire group that you will draw conclusions about, and the sample that refers to the specific group that you will collect data from.

Data Collection (1 slide):

  • Provide the methods by which you will obtain the data. If the research design is quantitative, provide methods such as correlation and regression, mean, mode and median or others. If the design is qualitative, provide methods such as, interviews, questionnaires with open-ended questions, focus groups, observation, game or role-playing, case studies, or others.

Data Analysis (1-2 slides):

  • This slide should contain the process you will use to understand, gather, compile, and process the data you will obtain. 

how to do a dissertation defense presentation

Limitations (1 slide):

  • In this slide, explain the nature of the limitations and how they will be overcome during your research. 

Delimitations (1slide):

  • Provide the characteristics that describe the boundaries of your study and limit the scope, such as sample size, geographical location, population traits, or others.

References (1-2 slides):

  • Only provide those sources that you referred to in the presentation. Do not provide all the sources that you have in your dissertation proposal.

Thank You/Questions (1 slide):

  • Use this final slide to thank your committee and to request questions from them.

Note : For information about citing your references, refer to Chapters 9 and 10 of the APA Manual 7 th edition.

For instructions on how to create a PowerPoint, see How to Create a Powerpoint Presentation .

View this video for “ Tips and Tricks for your Proposal Defense Day Presentation ” 

You can find several examples of students’ Dissertation Proposal Defense presentations online by searching for “Dissertation Proposal Defense PowerPoint.”  You can also find one at this webpage .

Steve Tippins

Steve Tippins, PhD, has thrived in academia for over thirty years. He continues to love teaching in addition to coaching recent PhD graduates as well as students writing their dissertations. Learn more about his dissertation coaching and career coaching services. Book a Free Consultation with Steve Tippins

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Dissertation Defense: Steps To Follow To Succeed

dissertation defense

A dissertation defense is arguably one of the most important milestones in every student’s career. While it signals that your tenure as a student is soon about to close, it validates all your efforts towards your thesis.

Being cautious about including all the necessary details is very important to successfully complete your dissertation proposal defense. This article tells you everything that you need to know about writing a defense that can add great credibility to you as a student.

What is A Dissertation Defense?

The first thing that you need to learn is what is a dissertation defense and what is its purpose. In simple terms, it is a presentation made by a student to defend all the ideas and views that are presented in a dissertation.

The presenter must include details like what is the reason for choosing specific research methods, the theory that has been selected for the paper, and other such points. This presentation is made before an audience that comprises of the university committee, professors and even fellow-students. It is met with questions and answers that gives the student an opportunity to provide more clarity on the dissertation in order to convince the committee to approve it.

Stages of a Dissertation Defense

One of the most important dissertation defense tips provided by several professors is to breakdown the process into three steps:

  • Preparation : This stage involves collection of all the necessary information that must be included in the defense dissertation and making all the arrangements for the actual meeting.
  • The defense meeting : This is where you decide how you will present the defense. The actual meeting is hugely reliant on the performance, body language and the confidence in your oral defense.
  • After the defense meeting : This stage, also known as the follow up, requires you to make the necessary revisions suggested by the university committee. You can even provide bound copies of the whole dissertation to distribute among different members of your departments. In the follow up stage, one must also think about expense that are related to publishing the Ph.D. dissertation defense as well as printing additional copies of the manuscript, if required.

How Long is a Dissertation Defense?

The first thing that a student should know is how long does a dissertation defense last? The length has to be carefully calculated to make the impact that you want. One of the most important steps in the dissertation preparation is to understand how much time each department allocates to the closing oral defense. When you plan in the early stages of your dissertation itself, you can write it in a manner that allows you to defend it in the allocated time.

Usually these meetings including the presentation, the oral defense and the question and answer session last for about two hours. In most cases, these two hours also encompass the time needed by members of the committee to deliberate.

How to Prepare for the Dissertation Defense

Now that you know how long is a dissertation defense, the next step is to prepare well enough to make your presentation impressive.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for a dissertation defense:

  • Watch other students in action to learn about different presentation styles. You can attend defenses of different colleagues in your department as well as other departments in your university.
  • Get all the details about the deadlines and the rules of your college or university about scheduling your defense.
  • Scheduling is also a very important part of your preparation. It is important to note that members of the committee and University chairs need to make time for these defences in a very packed schedule. Coordinate the date, venue and time of your defense as early as possible.
  • Prepare a manuscript adhering to the necessary formatting rules. Review your manuscript thoroughly before you hand it in. During your PH.D, your faculty will also assist you with the defense. For this, they must have a crisp and polished copy of your manuscript.
  • Most colleges have the facility for a pre-defense meeting. This is the best opportunity to sort out any concerns that you may have about the actual meeting. It is a good idea to ask the chairs what types of questions may be put forward and if there are any problems with the defense that need to be resolved. When you prepare for a pre-defense meeting, think of it as the final one and give it your all.
  • Put together all the material that you need for the defense. A detailed, yet to-the-point presentation must be prepared.
  • The final stage of preparation is practicing your presentation over and over again. It is not just the presentation but also the approach towards the questions that you must practice.

Tips To Nail Your Actual Meeting

With these tips you will be one step closer towards a successful defense that will help your dissertation pass and be approved:

  • All meetings should begin by addressing the chair. Make sure you thank all the committee members and the advisors for the efforts that they have put it. This gives you a professional start to the presentation.
  • The presentation should cover the following subjects in brief:
  • The research topic
  • Literature review
  • The methods used for analysis
  • The primary findings of the research
  • Recommendations of additional research on the subject in the focus.
  • Do not get rattled by any discussions among the chairs. They will deliberate on any disagreements or topics of interest. This is a part of the process and is not a reflection of the presentation itself.
  • There are two questions that are commonly asked that you should be prepared for. This includes the weaknesses of the dissertation and the research plans that you have made post-dissertation.
  • Use subtle gestures when you are talking. Do not overuse your hands when doing so. The whole meeting including the question and answer session should have a very formal appeal.
  • The tone of your voice must be assertive without making it seem like you are trying to hard. Be clear and enunciate when you speak.

Once the questions have been answered, the committee will leave the room. Then, after the deliberation, you will be informed if your dissertation has passed or not.

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  2. Defending Your Dissertation Proposal: Tips for Success

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Start a Thesis Defense Presentation

    Use an appropriate language register (avoid informal language), but be approachable and natural. "Welcome to the thesis defense on [the title of your thesis]". Next, introduce yourself with your name and give a short description of your background and occupation. Don't forget to say "thank you for attending!".

  2. PhD Dissertation Defense Slides Design: Start

    Purpose of the Guide. This Guide was created to help Ph.D. students in engineering fields to design dissertation defense presentations. The Guide provides 1) tips on how to effectively communicate research, and 2) full presentation examples from Ph.D. graduates. The tips on designing effective slides are not restricted to dissertation defense ...

  3. How to Make a Thesis Defense Presentation That Will Impress Your

    Keeping your defense simple will cut through all the other noise. Work on narrowing the focus of each slide to cover one point. Just one. Condensing ideas is tough, especially when you're discussing a complex issue. But taking your presentation one slide at a time ensures the audience can follow your argument clearly.

  4. Secrets to a Good Thesis Defense Presentation

    A coherent structure is essential for guiding your audience through your thesis defense presentation. Prezi can help by offering a map view of your content's layout upfront, providing a clear path through your introduction, methodology, results, and conclusion. This clarity keeps your audience engaged and makes your arguments easier to follow.

  5. How To Do a Proper Thesis Defense with a PowerPoint Presentation

    Consider this information as the starting point for this chat.". Step 2: Ask for an outline. With the previously provided information, ask ChatGPT to generate an outline for your presentation. If some of the points listed in the output don't convince you, then chat with the interface until you reach a final outline.

  6. How to Start and Give a Great Thesis Defense Presentation

    2. Know Your Audience. Most people give their thesis defense presentation to an academic panel. This panel will look to see if you've developed a thorough understanding of your topic and thesis. They'll also be looking to see if you've got a solid foundation for your argument.

  7. How to Pull Off Your Thesis Defense With a Great Presentation

    Define your presentation's theme. 4. Design simple and focused slides. 5. Include data visualizations. 6. Practice makes perfect. Things to keep in mind to help you nail your presentation. You've reached the home stretch in your journey toward your post-graduate degree.

  8. Preparing For A Viva Voce (Dissertation Defence)

    Preparing for your dissertation or thesis defense (also called a "viva voce") is a formidable task. All your hard work over the years leads you to this one point, and you'll need to defend yourself against some of the most experienced researchers you've encountered so far. It's natural to feel a little nervous.

  9. How to prepare an excellent thesis defense

    Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your thesis defense: 1. Anticipate questions and prepare for them. You can absolutely prepare for most of the questions you will be asked. Read through your thesis and while you're reading it, create a list of possible questions.

  10. PhD Dissertation Defense Slides Design: Presentation checklist

    PhD Dissertation Defense Slides Design: Presentation checklist. Start; Tips for designing the slides; Presentation checklist; Example slides; Additional Resources; Technical checklist. 1. Did you add page numbers? 2. Did you test animation and videos? 3. Did you check if the font sizes are too small, especially in tables and figures?

  11. Tips for designing the slides

    Link to examples dissertation defense slides. Email me for questions and schedule an appointment. Chasz Griego he/him Email. Contact: 4410 Sorrells Library 4th Floor Wean Hall ... During your presentation, the committee members can use page numbers to reference specific slides for their questions.

  12. Defending Your Dissertation: A Guide

    The first thing you should know is that your defense has already begun. It started the minute you began working on your dissertation— maybe even in some of the classes you took beforehand that helped you formulate your ideas. This, according to Dr. Celeste Atkins, is why it's so important to identify a good mentor early in graduate school.

  13. How to Effectively Prepare for Your Thesis Defense

    Have a plan for computer/internet problems if you are presenting virtually. Eat well and get a good night's rest before the defense. Arrive at the defense venue early enough to test any IT equipment or internet connection. For more tips on how to write a good thesis, where to find the best thesis editing services.

  14. How to Create and Give a Thesis Defense Presentation

    Tips for Your Oral Presentation. The following are the common tips to ace your defense thesis presentation: Practice your thesis presentation. Select the main points of your thesis presentation. Prepare for the unexpected question from your committee. Don't provide a baseless answer. Take a deep breath to avoid nervousness.

  15. Preparing Your PowerPoint

    Preparing Your PowerPoint. Topic 3: Preparing for Defense. In this activity, you will draft your PowerPoint for your proposal defense. During your defense you will typically have 10-15 minutes for your presentation. There are approximately 9-12 slides. They have read the study, so focus more on findings and implications, less on literature.

  16. Video on How To Do a Proper Thesis Defense Presentation

    In this guide, we'll provide you with essential tips and advice on how to ace your thesis defense and impress your committee. We'll walk you through the essential elements of your presentation, such as your title page, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusions slides. For further infromation you can ...

  17. 13 Tips to Prepare for Your PhD Dissertation Defense

    12. Get Plenty of Rest. Out of the dissertation defense preparation points, this one is extremely important. Obviously, sleeping a day before your big event is hard, but you have to focus and go to bed early, with the clear intentions of getting the rest you deserve. 13.

  18. The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your PhD Dissertation Defense Presentation

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    PhD Dissertation Defense Slides Design: Example slides. Start; Tips for designing the slides; Presentation checklist ... Thank all Ph.D.s for sharing their presentations. If you are interested in sharing your slides, please contact Julie Chen ([email protected]). Civil and Environmental Engineering. Carl Malings (2017) Irem Velibeyoglu ...

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    Get customized coaching for crafting your proposal, collecting and analyzing your data, or preparing your defense. The following are other format requirements for the slides: Create 17-20 slides. Do not provide a lot of information. Be concise and write a few sentences (approximately 1-7 on each slide).

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    One of the most important steps in the dissertation preparation is to understand how much time each department allocates to the closing oral defense. When you plan in the early stages of your dissertation itself, you can write it in a manner that allows you to defend it in the allocated time. Usually these meetings including the presentation ...

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    But how you end it can make all the difference in your presentation's overall impact. Here are some ways to ensure you end powerfully: Way #1: Include a Strong Call-to-Action (CTA) Way #2: Don't End With a Q&A. Way #3: End With a Memorable Quote. Way #4: Close With a Story. Way #5: Drive Your Main Points Home.